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Tuesday 4 July 2006
Today's cold snap across Canterbury has reinforced the need for
volunteers to offer assistance to households and farmers still struggling with
the mid-June snowfall.
Rural support offices in Ashburton, Timaru, Fairlie and Waimate set up last
week to co-ordinate assistance are receiving offers of support, but more are
needed, said MAF regional team leader John Greer.
"Our local facilitators are keen to hear from any volunteers with home
and family experience or with farm skills and a rural background," he
"We want people with good listening ability who can respond with
sensible advice and report back to rural facilitators if specialist social
support or farm assistance is needed."
He said the facilitators were aware that many rural families badly affected
by the snow storm had not asked for help, even when their circumstances
"What we are saying is they are not obliged to struggle against the
odds and deal with serious term issues on their own, when assistance is
"It is also important that neighbours, friends and stock and station
agents let us know if they think any family or farmer is having trouble
He said volunteers can call the toll-free number, 0800 2DEFROST (0800 233
376) to register their names. Ashburton 03 307 7130 or 027 600 6707, Fairlie 03
685 9021 or 027 445 4265, Timaru 03 688 4096, Waimate 03 689 6427 or 027
Volunteers accepted will be allocated to a region and fully briefed before
undertaking any assignments, Mr Greer said. Any volunteers from outside the
affected areas will be eligible for mileage and accommodation expenses.
Further information contact:
MAF Regional Team Leader: Tel 0-3-358 1864 or 0-27-432
Further Government Action in Snow-hit Canterbury
(Beehive Press Release dated 10.07.06)